Here's what you need to know about THON Weekend 2021

February 15, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The 2021 Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) will host THON Weekend virtually from 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, through 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21.

As the world’s largest student-run philanthropy, each year THON raises millions of dollars for Four Diamonds to fund pediatric cancer research and support children and families fighting childhood cancer. This year’s theme is “Rise and Unify.”

This year’s event has been modified to safeguard the health and safety of all Four Diamonds families, participants, dancers, volunteers and spectators during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There will be no in-person component, and there will be no spectators, dancers or participants in the Bryce Jordan Center; all supporters and dancers will instead individually celebrate THON from their own homes. Dancers have been identified and will be asked to take breaks during designated rest hours between midnight and 6 a.m.

THON Weekend will take place over a 46-hour livestream featuring many of the events that take place at THON each year, including line dances, special performances and the annual pep rally.

All members of the Penn State community, regardless of their location, are invited to join this year’s THON Weekend remotely through the official THON livestream, provided by student-run production team 46LIVE.

Additional information is available in THON’s comprehensive spectator guide

Health and safety guidelines

All THON spectators are expected to continue following all relevant COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, regardless of their location. This includes maintaining social and physical distancing, and not hosting or attending large gatherings. 

All members of the community are encouraged to review health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as health guidelines from Penn State. All spectators should also follow all state and local health and safety guidelines, including those from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Borough of State College.

If you suspect an individual Penn State student or organization is not following COVID-19 guidelines, please notify the  Penn State University Student Conduct through the online incident reporting form.

THON Weekend timeline

THON Weekend will be livestreamed starting Friday and continuing through Sunday. A partial list of major events occurring over THON Weekend is included below. A complete list of all events and performances is also available in the THON spectator guide.

Friday, Feb. 19

  • 6 p.m. — Following the introduction of the THON 2021 executive committee, the countdown will begin for all dancers to begin standing.

  • 6:15 p.m. — The first virtual line dance will begin. The line dance is created each year to represent significant events of the previous year, incorporates stretches to help keep dancers moving and motivated, and occurs throughout the course of THON Weekend.

  • 7:30 p.m. — The virtual Kids Mail Call will give Four Diamonds families an opportunity to read letters from THON Volunteers and other supporters.

Saturday, Feb. 20

  • 11 a.m. — Dancers will show off their attire and their dancing skills in the virtual Dancer Pageant.

  • 2 p.m. — Volunteers will compete in virtual “THON Idol” with State College area rock band, Southpaw.

  • 4 p.m. — Four Diamonds children will perform in the virtual Kids Talent Show, featuring rapping, singing, dancing and more.

  • 7 p.m. — The annual Pep Rally will feature Penn State varsity student athletes competing virtually against each other with fun and exciting dance routines.

Sunday, Feb. 21

  • 11 a.m. — Four Diamonds children will virtually model their favorite outfits in the Kids Fashion Show.

  • 12:05 p.m. — During the virtual Family Hour, Four Diamonds families share personal stories of their battles with childhood cancer. All families at THON are recognized, followed by a “Celebration of Life” video to remember children who died from cancer.

  • 4 p.m. — The virtual total reveal will take place, announcing the financial representation of THON’s yearlong fundraising efforts. The total will be then be broken down into categories including fundraising from Greek organizations, Commonwealth Campuses and general and special interest organizations.

Additional information can be found online at the THON website.


Last Updated February 15, 2021